Moving, multiclored ribbons of lights that flicker and sway across the northern star-studded skies. That was the impression I first got when I first saw the northern lights, otherwise known as the auora borealis.
They were absolutely amazing, to say the very least. I had never, in all my days, seen anything quite like it!
I went to Canada to see my sister, who, at the time, was in the hospital, battling cancer. Her husband, Paul, a tall, distinguished looking gentleman with a thick head of white hair, knew I needed a break from the hospital realm, so he decided to take me out for a night on the town, to the village where they lived. He took me to the edge of the mountain and let me talk my feelings out.
After a good cry and chat, Paul then told me to look up above me. What I saw truly amazed and enthralled me. Stars as far as one could see without any trace of light pollution. The sky was as black as ink; it was the blackest sky I could remember. I hadn't seen a sky quite like that since I was a little girl back in Mississippi.
It was beautiful, but hold on! Nothing could have prepared me for the sight that would soon unfold above me. I saw the first inklings of movement and green light; the flashes of light then got bigger and brighter until the entire sky was filled with them. The lights pulsed, wavered, streaked around and above Paul and myself: all I could do was sit there, in a state of wonderment and awe, as we watched the celestial show above us. It was nothing short of incredible!
About ten minutes later, the light show faded. I then asked Paul what was going on. He then told me about the northern lights, or aurora borealis, how they occurred (and why), and why they changed colors. Paul was a retired meteorologist, so he knew about all things weather. He told me they were the result of storms caused by sunspots on the sun; when energy particles struck the earh's atmosphere, the lights would be the result. He also explained why the northern lights changed colors and why they occurred mainly at the "ples" of the earth (North and South Poles).
Paul said that sometimes, if these "storms" were strong enough, the norhtern lights could be further south in the continental United States, but aurora sightings further south than the northtern tier states and Midwestern states were rather uncommon; rarer, still, were aurora sightings farther south than Kansas or Oklahoma, but they did occur. He said all depended on the strength of these "geomagnetic storms" whenever they reached the earth's atmosphere. It was very interesting listening to Paul explain these things.
Ever since that first encounter with the nothern lights, I have made several return trips to my sister's place. Sadly, she is gone now, but Paul still remains and enjoys showing me the northern lgihts whenever I come up and visit. Paul is older and more stooped now, but he still has that youthful twinkle in his brown eyes and doesn't hesitate to take me outside just so I can see the northern lights. He knows I enjoy them, so he lets me watch from the comfort of his yard.
I have photographed and taken video stills of the northern lights; I am currently working on a children's book about the aurora borealis and am learning all I can about this naural phenomonon. Thanks to Paul, my brother in law, I have a new appreciation for God's beautiful creations and thank Him every day for creating the earth, animals, people, sky and everything within.
I feel incredibly blessed to have witnessed the northern lights on numerous occasions; once you see them for the first time, you will never forget them as long as you live! I know I haven't; I owe it all to God first, and also my brother-in-law!